PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Winning baseball games. Raising money for the fight against cancer. Celebrate and honor the life of Mitch Janssen. That’s what Bradley baseball accomplished this weekend at Dozer Park.
Bradley beat Southern Illinois 8-0 Sunday behind a terrific pitching performance from Brooks Gosswein, who allowed just one hit across eight innings of work while striking out eight batters.
After the game, the Braves gathered as a team to shave their heads. It’s part of their six year partnership with the Vs. Cancer Foundation. Bradley helps raise money for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.
This year alone, the Braves raised over $23,000, bringing their six year fundraising total to over $100,000.
“Year in and year out this is a great team bonding exercise that we have together, obviously to help out the kids over at the Childrens Hospital,” Bradley senior Dan Bolt said. “It keeps everyone loose, keeps everyone together and brings the guys together for sure.”
“Coach (Dominguez) usually doesn’t allow us to have long hair, but he knows we do this fundraiser so I’ve been growing it out for over a year and it’s all gone now,” Bradley senior Brendan Dougherty said. “So it means a lot to us.”
Bradley also honored the number 21 this weekend, the number of former Braves pitcher Mitch Janssen, who passed away in a plane crash in 2020.
How fitting that the Bradley pitching staff was lights-out on a weekend where they honor Janssen. Southern Illinois is one of the top offenses in the entire country, scoring over eight runs per game on average this season. In the four game series, Bradley only allowed the Salukis to score nine total runs. A great way to honor the life of Princeville’s Mitch Janssen.
“Magical weekend for sure honoring Mitch. Our pitchers held one of the top offenses in the country to very limited runs and essentially shut down their lineup across the board,” Bolt said. “I know hes looking down on us, he wanted us to go out there and have some fun and I’m really glad we could get three wins for him and his family, who’s been watching us this weekend.”
Bradley won three out of four games vs. Southern Illinois this weekend to improve to 12-14 overall and 6-5 in Missouri Valley Conference play.